NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A former Vanderbilt football player encouraged his teammates to have sex with an unconscious woman whom he had been dating, prosecutors said Monday at the player's retrial.
During opening statements, a prosecutor said Brandon Vandenburg even passed out condoms to three teammates before the woman was raped.
But one of Vandenburg's attorneys blamed the three other players, saying that maybe Vandenburg could have stopped the June 2013 attack but he shouldn't be held responsible for what others did to her.
The defense attorney said Vandenburg had been drinking all day, and the 19-year-old new recruit had asked players he didn't know to help him carry the unconscious woman to his dorm. He said the others were on her as soon as they got her in the room.
The retrial comes against the backdrop of a furor over the six-month sentence a former Stanford University swimmer received after being convicted of sexual assault. The highly publicized cases at two of America's elite universities are part of a broader national debate about sexual assaults on college and university campuses.
A jury convicted Vandenburg and former player Cory Batey last year after a trial that featured graphic cellphone videos and photos of the attack taken by the former players. However, the verdicts were thrown out after it was discovered that the jury foreman had been a victim of statutory rape.
Batey was convicted of aggravated rape and other charges after his retrial in April. His sentencing is scheduled for next month.
The two other players charged have not yet been tried. They have both pleaded not guilty.